Tag Archives: writing prompts

100 Word Prompt – Room

Yes I am back! It’s slow at work today, and I saw a prompt in my email, one that inspired me within seconds. Thin Spiral Notebook’s challenge, a reminder of past challenges (Trifecta, Ketchup with us – ah the memories).

So here’s 100 words on…

ROOM.

We walked past cubicles, down the carpet, plush save for a slight indentation from the front desk to my office door. Many miles back and forth for me and the students.

I held my breath as we walked to my new space. This next step was what I had been waiting for. Several years of hitting my head on another university’s glass ceiling had been giving me headaches.

She unlocked the door. “You’re the most experienced new guy, so we gave you the big room.”

It was a big room, with a big glass window, the morning sun shining through.

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Ketchup With Us #39 – Four For 4/4

Ms Mel and ODNT Want a linkup, new or old. Maybe there was some awesomeness that went unaccoladed – now’s your chance! Ketchup With Us

I used this chance to revisit a fun thing I do. Four things on the Fourth day of the Fourth Month.

Also I decided to do it in 10 minutes and so each one got the fair shot of rambling, each bit was 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Mr G I will let you know about burgers soon. I have already met with other ‘online friends’- a term that was dubious back in the 90’s but is absolutely acceptable these days. Still I carry a whisper of that doubt, as I guess people see that I get along with so many people in the real world that it is still somehow different. Let me tell you there are people in your own company that you have worked with for years and never met. One professor who starts after I leave for example. We could have stood next to each other at an event and never knew it, when I met him, I realized…that wasn’t true. Anyway, so there are plenty of burger places and apparently a bar hidden upstairs from a five guys. I think though we’ll be going for ostrich burgers and a Guinness. My ending point being that I traveled to other cities to see some friends now time to make a day for the ones right here. Also you others need to come see us.

So I went to Chicago and Dallas and they were both great. I am exhausted and there is too much laundry waiting to be done, but I am glad I did it at this time. It leaves me open for more travels (that is after the next fiscal year rolls over and or after my tax refund comes back in). I got into the restaurants I wanted. I ate well, rested better, and saw the museums. Two things that I rate a city by, and glad to say that both cities passed. Dallas streets have few people and less litter. I spend way too much on souvenirs. I didn’t spend a lot on coffee, and I got some damn good deals on rooms that were right in the middle of town. One more US destination and then I look overseas. In the meantime my passport application sits in my bag, un-mailed. This weekend. I promise.

When I was younger I was apparently cute or precocious enough for my parents to see if I wanted to try out modeling/acting. I landed a few tiny things like textbooks, none of which I read or to my knowledge learned were defaced with devil beards and horns, until I landed an interview with some lady for a movie. “Why do you want to do this?” she asked. “Because my mom wanted me to.” She laughed and I made a good impression. Apparently also I made the short list for a movie about two boys who suddenly grew older and had to deal with this new situation. The script was changed, the movie was Big, and the woman who interviewed me was Penny Marshall. She never gave me a callback. Ah, well at least I am not on any terrible reality shows or dating late 80’s playboy models. And hey I got a paycheck. That’ll do.

So I now have one week until my windows XP machine is somehow no longer worthy of upgrades by Microsoft. I will be simply disconnecting it from the internet and using it for offline activities like games and writing, as I am sure that there will be a field day on XP machines. Well why not just upgrade they say? Well because in buying the upgrade to 7 or 8 and having to upgrade the hardware which is outdated, I will have to spend more than if I bought a new system. So why not just buy a new system, Good idea. I’ll switch to mac like everyone else is doing these days. So, well played Microsoft. Its days like this that I wonder why I got rid of my commodore 64 in the first place. THAT had Zak McKraken on it- which was the best game ever (shout out?). And dot matrix printers only less noisy than modems would be in later years.

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Filed under Ketchup With Us, Life, Lists, Travel, Writing Challenges

Ketchup With Us #37: Re- Lenting

Ms Mel and ODNT want you to revisit another entry of yours. Ketchup With Us

This seems fitting to update.

in 2012, I wrote this first post on what I was going to do for Lent. I don’t think I actually decided on anything.

In 2013, I made a choice – I gave up ‘seconds’ in food. I was gaining a little weight, but more than that, I was gaining bad food habits; mainly taking more of something- another helping of rice, chips, cookies, meatballs and pasta, etc. I mean, seconds on veggies isn’t so bad, but that’s not what I was doing. So I made the rule – I can pile it on a plate, bowl, whatever, but that’s all I can have. At first, I took the liberties; a big bowl of pasta and 3 meatballs. The thing is that I don’t eat that at one quick sitting, so what was I actually doing? I hardly finished it, and when I did, there were no firsts on dessert! Gradually I realized that I was portioning out exactly what I thought I would be able to eat and not save for leftovers. As my portions and habits went back to normal, so did my weight (also my energy went back up a bit). Even on Easter Sunday and beyond, the one plateful rule was still in effect. Still is.

Now for this year, I am doing something different.

There is a lot of talk regarding the idea of ‘giving up’ something. Much like a new year’s resolution, everything sounds awesome, doable and a mark of your strong character & faith. So you give up chocolate or cursing.

And you last a day, then get Catholic guilt.

So now it is the emphasis of doing something GOOD each day. Good for you, society, your faith, or just your general well being.

I like that last bit. On that note, I had some unexpected news on Ash Wednesday that rattled me a bit.

(Side note – I got my ashes. Dude, check out the job the priest did!)
4sh3z

Ok back to that feeling. I’m giving up something. Doubts.

Doubt that I can lead others in a good direction. Doubt that despite my awesomeness*, (whatever) it (is) can and will happen. Doubt or second-guessing any/every decision I make. None of those fcuking things that keep me everyone up at 3am.

Already I feel this challenging me, and I bite it back and down. I’ll make it, maybe not perfectly, but I will emerge after 40 days having replaced doubt completely with something very different. Something better.

It might make it easier to look at it in comparison – chocolate would be waaaay harder than this.**

*notice that I have no doubts about that.

**Case in point – Double chocolate & cherry brownies.

dblch0ch33rOriginal Recipe found at Kary Osmond.

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Filed under Baking, Ketchup With Us, Life, Religion, Writing

Trifecta 99 – Babooksha

This week we are giving you a page from the Oxford English Dictionary. The ninety-ninth page, to be exact. (Click to enlarge.) From this page, you can choose any word, any definition, to use in your post. (Please type your chosen word in bold, so we know.) And instead of our typical 33-333 word limit, we are asking for 99 words exactly.
babushka


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When commuting, reading helps avoid eye contact. Though these days, e-books prevent you from seeing what others are reading, I still love paperbacks.

My subway line passes through Brighton Beach, and ‘little Odessa’, so there are usually some babushkas on the crowded trains, sometimes even wearing the namesake scarves. One day, I caught the eye of one, who smiled warmly at me and my copy of “The Brothers Karamazov.” Some weeks later, we ‘met’ again, but my expected approving glance was met with a steely gaze and deeply creased frown. Perhaps they felt no sympathy for ‘Sofia Petrovna’ plight…


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Filed under Books, Creative Writing, Life, Life in NYC, Reading, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing Challenges

Ketchup With Us #25 – By Candlelight

Ms Mel and ODNTare asking about your most memorable birthday, which may be just a way for them to ask your birthday so they can buy (or make, with glitter, paste and racamoni) you a card. Ketchup With Us

I’ve always had fun birthdays. This particular series of events over the course of several days though…takes the cake. Yep I said it!

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My birthday May 30th 1998 – I took two finals, aced ‘em. Homemade birthday cupcakes that night. The next morning, I aced another final, power napped, baked an epic batch of PB choco chip cookies, then out to celebrate with friends to TGIFridays and a concert (Garbage). June 1st – I graduated! I arrived late, like a boss.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Humor, Ketchup With Us, Life, Writing Challenges

Ketchup With Us #24: Perfect The First Timing

Ms Mel and ODNT want to know about a significant first day in your life … of school, work, parenthood, rehab, veganism, prison, whatever you want – in 57 woids or less. Ketchup With Us

Not only is the timing of this prompt just about perfect, the incident has that element as well 😉

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August 14, 2003- New job! My boss (also her first day – revamped department) admits she doesn’t get along with computers. It’s a busy day as we set up; later everyone is chatting and she gently bumps my monitor. The lights go out at that instant. “What did I do?!” Yep, the Northeast blackout – my boss caused it.

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Filed under Day In the Life, Ketchup With Us, New York City, Working

Ketchup With Us #23: At Rest

Ms Mel and ODNT knwo that a picture is worth 57 words. Easiest link-up ever. All we want is a picture. Give us your best bi***/a**hole resting face. Ketchup With Us

So I am looking through my photos and though I do smile a lot, yeap there they are!
The beard does accentuate the expression.Through the years:
rrrrtz3
2008 – I was feeling artsy on a sunny morning. Notice no beard yet!


2009 – My friend’s wedding. I was definitely, ahem, ‘at rest’. Once they fired up the 80’s music though…

Last Fall:
sammiches
Part of a class project – eat at a food-place-ery of a cuisine you’ve never had.
For me – Malaysian sandwiches. Everyone laffed at my expression, now I know why!
Despite my expression, that sammich was awesome.
Ok you want to see the sammich don’t you…

s4mm1ch


What’s a train ride delayed on the bridge mean? Selfie time.
I’m serious, everyone does this.






Double Bonus: At the time I was organizing this post, I took a break for lunch and ran into an old friend while wlking down the street. The first thing she asked me “What’s wrong? You look, I don’t know…” Had to laugh at that one.

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Trifextra 73 – Oh, Positively

This weekend we’re asking for 33 of your own words inspired by the idiom, third time’s the charm. This familiar phrase may have an indeterminate origin, but its meaning is clear. Whether or not you include the phrase itself is up to you. Just make sure to use exactly 33 words. And, as usual, have fun with it!


This experience is true, and less than fun.
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“Got it, first shot!” the nurse bragged, or punned.
Well third time’s the charm actually, I thought sarcastically, watching the hematoma already beginning to blossom from two errant attempts in my left elbow.

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Not the best experience in donating blood from someone who really, really hates needles. I still donate, just not there.

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Filed under Life, Trifextra, Trifextra Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges

Monday Listicles – OutFoxed

Yes I know it’s Friday, but hey, the listicle is still accepting entries 😉 This particular topic is “10 Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon”, in our humble opinions. I thought about it, and realized that while shows capture and lose my interest, this list, which spans from the 80’s until a few years ago, is almost all FOX shows (channel 5 in NYC). I have always been a fan of their offbeat programs, I don’t know why. Married with Children and the Simpsons owned the top ratings back in the day, but more often than not, there was a rotation of complete barrel bottom dreck. Apparently I love(d) it.

No sorry I didn’t provide any still images or links, you will have to IMDB them.
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1. Werewolf – a young college student, Eric has a friend who confesses he is a werewolf. Eric manages to kill his cursed friend, but is bitten. Just before dying, the friendwolf tells Eric that he has to kill the alpha werewolf, an old man named Skorzeny (Chuck Conners!), in order to be ‘cured’. The episodes take us through Eric’s trek across the country as he helps out people along the way and hunts Skorzeny. Sort of like the Hulk and A-Team. Eric kills Skorzeny in the season finale, but finds out that there was an even more powerful werewolf! There was no second season, dammitall.

2. Get a Life – Chris Elliot plays a 30-something paperboy (named Chris) who lives with his parents. Somewhere around the second season (yes there was one!), he moves out of there and with a friend (Brian Doyle-Murray). Basically it’s about his clueless, idiotic existence complete with obscure references and running gags. I was in awe of its ingenious stupidity; I actually found an old VHS tape with one of the funniest episodes I have ever seen (S.P.E.W.E.Y. the alien) which yes I watched again. I heard that the show was put onto DVD, but there was NO mastering, and managed to look like it was off someone’s VHS that they pulled out of storage (déjà vu?). Meh – that makes it like a joke that you have to explain.

3. Brimstone – an NYPD cop (Ezekial Stone) kills the man who raped his wife, and a few years later, Stone is killed, and his soul goes to Hell! While he laments that the rapist is in heaven (or at least not hell with him – despite his sin, he was murdered with malice), a group of 100+ condemned souls break out of hell (did they cut through the screen door or something?!). The devil makes a deal with him – bring back the souls and the Dark Lord (no not Vader) will bring him back to life (if you can trust anyone to uphold their deal, apparently it’s the Devil) Even the reviews said the show wouldn’t last, and of course it didn’t.

4. Keen Eddie – Mark Valley plays a NYC cop in the UK. It lasted a complete season (I did get the DVD set as a gift, some epsiodes I can’t really recall!) and while I hoped for a second season, Valley went on to Boston Legal and other shows – the actors know when the well is dry! (

4a – Mary Valley would later star in “Human Target”, which in itself was a remake that had already failed on fox in the 80’s. It lasted 2 seasons – even a star cast couldn’t save it.

5. Dark Angel – Jessica Alba’s breakout role. A bunch of rowdy brats, who were genetically modified with various animal DNA, break out of the super secret guv’ment facillility. At some point before or after this, terrorists EMP the USA, making us a 3rd World Nation PDQ. It lost the original focus in the second season (yes there was one), as subplots started creeping in. There was a season finale, which half-doubled as a series finale.

6. Futurama – Yes it gets reboots every once in a while but it was never given proper respect. Back in the day, it was pre-empted by Fox’s Sunday football games post game show, even if the game was over, which they timed so that ‘King of the Hill’ was still shown. Bobby Hill vs Bender?! C’mon.

7. Cavemen – yes the show that was based on the GEICO cavemen. I knew the life span of this show would be measured in minutes (I half-expected it to be canceled in the middle of an episode), and so I was insistent on watching it. I was berated by family and friends, who tried their best to distract me from watching it. The show lasted about a month I think, but it’s now a faded gag.

8. Alien Nation – A TV series based on the 80’s movie, it was about two LAPD detectives, one human, the other an alien. There was always that underlying theme of prejudice and other social class struggles. While it was cancelled after a few seasons, public demand had several more TV movies made through the 90’s which tied up many loose ends.

9. V – A great movie/ mini-series in the 80’s, it was a freaky show for a kid like me. I recall that later seasons seemed more open-and-close plotlines, as headway in the struggle was not clearly defined. Eventually some sort of truce was arranged – with a twist, which they never got around to figuring out. I did not watch the remake from a few years ago.

10. Terminator: the Sarah Conner Chronicles An incredibly dumb title for a show, but hey I like those wacky killin machines, so I was game from the first episode. Summer Glau played a waifish terminator, but even her appeal didn’t bring the ton of Firefly fanboys. Bringing in Brian Austin-Green and Shirley Manson (of the band ‘Garbage’) didn’t boost either. I think that the movie “Terminator: Salvation” which was pretty underwhelming, may have been the final nail in this.

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Filed under Lists, Monday Listicles, Prompts, Retro, Television, Writing Challenges

Scintilla Project: Heads Up!

<a href=”http://www.scintillaproject.com/”><img title=”scintilla_badge_002″ alt=”” src=”https://braintomahawk.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/scintilla_badge_002.png&#8221; width=”140″ height=”140″ /></a>Well I missed the weekend, but I do have ideas for doing them – so they will be done, even if I have to save them for a rainy day.

Today’s prompts are:

A: Describe a time when the content of your character was tested.

B: Write about a chance meeting that has stayed with you ever since.

As all do, this one happened a while back (geez was I more interesting back then?!) and has stayed with me ever since.

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I was walking down 42nd street towards Times Square, in my suit and tie (which took 20 million tries to get knotted right), staring at the gum-stained sidewalk as I shuffled along aimlessly. It was late morning on a weekday. Most everyone else (who wasn’t a tourist) was in their offices, working. Except me, it seemed. Actually I had gone on a job interview. Those were fewer and far betweener than I would have liked. I was still in that hellish post undergraduate grace period of “can’t get the job without the experience/ can’t get the experience without the job”, and this interview was on par with that. To be fair, the job seemed like a scam; the ad said they were looking for an administrative assistant, but when I got there, the manager led the conversation to phone sales/cold calling. He lauded the commissions that other employees would make during their job, and of course gave me the zinger of “besides your degree, what else make you qualified?” Cue the job/experience revolving door. Right this way, sir.

Where the heck was this walk of shame leading to anyway? The subway home to commiserate?— an afternoon full of talk shows and injury attorney commercials wouldn’t help. How about a coffee shop or somewhere for lunch? – I was almost broke. I looked up, ready to cross the street onto Broadway.

What the – is that Mark? One of my close friends from high school, we also went to the same college and graduated in the same class. He was walking to the corner diagonally from me, in his suit, head down, expression serious. At that moment though, he looked up, we made eye contact and grinned at the same time. I crossed to him and held out my hand for a greeting and high five (or handshake, still trying to play the professional).

He spoke first. “Pete, don’t even talk to me, I just left the worst interview ever!” He stood by puzzled as I proceeded to crack up laughing. After a moment, I explained about my own situation, which gave him a laugh as well. We stood there, still defeated and miserable, but having a friend who understood right when they needed them most. We walked around for a while, got some cheap eats and took the train home, early enough to miss rush hour, but late enough to miss Maury and Jerry.

I guess, no matter what, always keep your head up.

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Filed under Friends, Job Interviews, Jobs, Life, Scintilla Project, Writing, Writing Challenges